‘NetNet: True haunted house tale, new scary short films, old eerie short films, a quote hunt, a Robert McCammon short story, Gone With the Wind, and TV updates.

READ ANOTHER TRUE HAUNTED HOUSE STORY

haunted_house

Ghosts & Ghouls has posted another good first-person account of a haunting. Of course I can’t verify the story, but I do try to find well-written, plausible tales to share with you. Reader Submission: Life in a Haunted House fits the bill.

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VIEW AN EXPERTLY CURATED SET OF SCARY SHORT VIDEOS.

Eva Halloween, who features a short horror video at her blog almost every Friday night, has picked out 5 favorites. Read:  Friday Night Features: Our Top 5 Horror Shorts of 2013.

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READ A McCAMMON SHORT STORY

Robert McCammon has gifted us with a fresh short story called White. Get the link to the story, or to EPUB (for Nook) or MOBI (for Kindle) at his post: Kick the New Year off with a new short story by Robert McCammon!

robert mccammon

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RECONSIDER A CLASSIC BOOK

I’ve recently started following an (often) irascible teacher at the blog Infinitefreetime. I always enjoy his style, but this post in particular drew me in. Since reading it, I’ve found myself thinking I should re-read Gone With the Wind with an adult’s eyes and awareness. Read: In which I don’t like liking things.

gone

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APPRECIATE THE SENSIBILITIES OF A UNIQUE BLOGGER

Madeleine Swann finds the coolest stuff.

There are four more selections over at: The eerie and enchanting world of early cinema. (I just love that title.)

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TRACK DOWN THE ORIGINS OF THIS FANTASTIC PIECE OF WISDOM

“Watch your thoughts, they become words;
watch your words, they become actions;
watch your actions, they become habits;
watch your habits, they become character;
watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

Aside from committing to writing more, I’ve also made resolutions to improve my health and finances in 2014.  (Like most everyone.) In early December, I started hunting for tools to help me achieve this year’s goals, and I think I’ve found a couple of good ones. (Yes, I plan to tell you about them, but that’s for another kind of post entirely.) Today I found the above quote, unattributed, in the wilds of one of those tools. 

I had to hunt it down, of course.

I found my answer at a blog called Quote Investigator. Read about the hotly debated source of the quote in: Watch Your Thoughts, They Become Words; Watch Your Words, They Become Actions (Ralph Waldo Emerson? Lao Tzu? Frank Outlaw? Gautama Buddha? Bishop Beckwaith? Father of Margaret Thatcher?)

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NOW LET’S TALK TV!

One of the things I hate about the holiday season is how my favorite shows go on hiatus.

I’m quite excited that AHS: Coven is coming back on Wednesday the 8th. I’ve been waiting for the upcoming special guest episode since I first met Misty Day in the bayou. (Yes, I suspected it would happen, even back then – ask Ogre.) Anyway, squee aside, here’s the latest teaser:

My other favorite 2013 show, The Blacklist, returns Jan. 13. (The Walking Dead isn’t coming back until Feb. 9th.)

What I’m REALLY excited about, though, is Downton Abbey which will begin its 4th season TOMORROW! (Sunday, Jan. 5th.)

Finally, this is just a heads-up that BATES MOTEL Season 2 will premiere on A&E March 3rd and is expected to have a 10 episode run.


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There is no way I’m going to capture every great thing that happens in my personal web, let alone on the wider internet. The posts I feature here just happened to catch my eye. They resonated with me and whatever is going on in my life right now. And they are worth sharing.

‘NetNet

#NetNet

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Halloween Decor: easy, inexpensive haunts to make for the house and yard (plus some wow-projects.)

UPDATED FOR THE 2014 SEASON

halloween countfdown 5 updated

For many of us, October 1st is the official start of the Halloween season. (At least the part of the season that happens outside the broom closet.) Before I post the next countdown article, that magical date will have arrived. This, then, is the week for pulling out all the dusty boxes of decorations, shopping the seasonal aisle of discount stores, locating the nearest specialty shop, and making a new project or two to flesh out the theme of this year’s display.

NOTE: All photographs and images below are used for the sole purpose of referring readers to the original website that offers the pictured content, At posting, all links are current and active. If a link fails to direct properly, it is due to a change by the site-holder which is out of my control.

RANDOM PROJECTS, FROM RANDOM SITES

These just caught my eye as I prowled. They range from insanely cheap and easy to more elaborate but still doable. Click project name for instructions.

NEW RANDOM PROJECTS FOR 2014

This year, I found some great videos. I’ve shared a variety below — from “wow, that’s a crazy and potentially dangerous project” to “yeah, I could do that.” I’ll let you categorize them for your self.

Yard Ghosts from Tomato Cages

Frankenstein’s Lab Light Bulbs

Bloody Sheet with Masks (cool adaptable technique)

Body Bags (This is a 20 min. video, folks.)

Boarded-Up Windows (easy and cheap)

I might add more links to this section as I continue to wander. Anyone know of a good link? Leave a comment below 🙂

THRIFTY CRAFTY GIRL

The following link takes you a page showing 31 consecutive days crafty posts, by Priscilla, from Halloween 2012. (In reverse order.)

Go read her journey through the season – she’s charming and it doesn’t take long. Oh, and there’s some great classic projects.

31 Days of Halloween at Thrifty Crafty Girl

For some reason, The Boy will not agree to be my model for

the awesome mummy project Priscilla has up on Oct 25th.

decor mummy tape

FRUGAL FRIGHTS AND DELIGHTS

At Frugal Frights and Delights, Debbie shares her experiences related to constructing a fantastic front-yard haunt, peopled by some of my favorite characters. She uses material that we can all easily lay hands on and gives down-to-earth instructions.

Here’s what caught my eye:

decor ring girl with patch

The Ring Girl Samara Tutorial

old-broken-and-new-ring-girl-well-diy

The Well from the Movie The Ring, version 1 (heavy) AND new version 2 (light)

Recently, Debbie has expanded her amazing collection of characters from The Nightmare Before Christmas with new The Mayor:

mayor-made

click the pic to go to tutorial

decor sally complete

 

In 2013, she created Sally in FOUR detailed posts.

Photo courtesy of Marciniak Photography.

Photo courtesy of Marciniak Photography.

I admit, that’s pretty elaborate stuff. Here’s something quick & easy from Debbie’s place:

decor see no evil

See No Evil Jack O Lantern stack

DAVE LOWE DESIGN

This site is a treasure trove of brilliant how-tos by a professional prop master. Despite his credentials, he uses everyday objects and imagination, rather than expensive specialty items and power tools, to craft most of the projects he shares. (I find his blog to be generally entertaining too.)

Here’s what caught my eye:

Bloody, Dripping, Head Sack How-To

And here are some more of my favorite projects – but this is only a sampling.

Make a Moving Monster Eye – this is so cool that I called The Boy from the other room to come see. You’ve gotta read the article to really get it.

Morphing Ghost Picture with LCD Photo Frame – I have a fantastic old photograph of my grandmother as a young girl, flanked by her two brothers who are showing off their guns. (Perhaps you’ve seen a potion of the picture in my randomly displayed header images.) I also have a husband who is a Photoshop wiz.

I’ll post a little video of our results when we’ve finished.

HALLOWEENFORUM.COM

I’ll admit it – forums confuse and overwhelm me. Which is a shame, because I think Halloween Forum is a gold mine of serious cool. For you – despite my trepidation – I girded myself and explored a bit. I’ve returned from the forum wilds with these projects. They are well beyond my available time, energy and skill, but – OMG – they are fun to look at.

decor grim reaper

It seems Terra, from the forum, has a collection of video tutorials on this dedicated YouTube channel:

Scary Lady Videos

new This is the easiest, most appealing project I found among Terra’s treasures:

Black Light Ghillie Suit – Halloween Scare

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NOTE: If you’re going to have a Halloween party, you should set the date now.

HALLOWEEN COUNTDOWN QUICK LINKS:

2014’s Countdown-to-Halloween Ideas & Checklist

Join The Paranormalist’s 1st Annual Halloween Photo Scavenger Hunt from here

Print your 6-week planning calendar from here

 

FOR MORE HALLOWEEN COUNTDOWN ARTICLES VISIT THE MAIN INDEX

halloween countdown main fridays


Finding Halloween events & celebrating autumn: haunted houses, apple orchards, ghost tours and more.

UPDATED FOR THE 2014 SEASON

halloween countdown 6 final

AUTUMN ARRIVES:

Friday marks six weeks until Halloween. I’m no longer (nearly) alone in my countdown to the big day – horror movies and creepy documentaries are cropping up on all the channels; fun-size candy bars and this year’s Halloween decorations are arriving in the stores; bloggers are writing about costumes and theme parties.

Monday the 22nd will be the autumnal equinox.

I’m not happy about the looming winter, but autumn is my favorite season and I intend to suck every possible bit of creepy, eerie, festive, color-saturated, pleasure from the next six weeks. I will be able to lose myself in my celebration of all things fall-ish and Halloween-y because (for those of you that don’t already know) I am lucky enough to live in Minnesota, not far from where I grew up, in and around Anoka – the Halloween Capital of the World. 

logo_national_geographic

Click for Proof

I realize not all of you live in or near a town so mad for Halloween, but that shouldn’t hamper your celebrations. This week’s Halloween Countdown post is meant to help all my readers – Minnesotans AND folks from farther afield – find great autumn and Halloween events no matter where they live in the US.

IT’S NOT TOO SOON TO PLAN HALLOWEEN:

Below, you will find a printable PDF calendar of the next six weeks.

2014-halloween-calendar,-general-pdf

 2014  6 weeks until halloween calendar pdf

  • print your calendar
  • look over the included checklist
  • browse the links below for inspiration
  • mark the check boxes of any activities that appeal
  • use the calendar and the links below to plan your season

FINDING & CHOOSING DAYTRIPS & OUTINGS:

Probably, the best tool for hunting down your community’s offerings is a local newspaper or the September / October issue of your city or state magazine. As a supplement to such resources, I’ve gathered a set of search engines and guides to assist in planning. THE most useful site I found was Explore Minnesota – our state’s official tourism site. You can find your state guide at www.50states.com.

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GO TO THE FARM:

ORCHARDS, PETTING ZOOS, CORN MAZES, HAYRIDES, ETC.

Start your search here:

In Minnesota:

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DO GOOD:

calendar dog walk cc by skirtpr         OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         calendar reading cc by US Embassy Canada

Start your search here:

  • Go to volunteermatch.org, enter your state or city, and type Halloween into the “I care about …” box.

No matter where you are:

  • check at the local shelter for dogs that would love a walk on a fall day
  • carve a Jack ‘O Lantern (or several) for the local retirement home
  • read spooky stories at the local elementary school
  • play ding-dong-ditch with a twist – leave a Happy Halloween note & a prize

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ENJOY FALL’S SPECTACULAR COLORS:

Start your search here:

In Minnesota:

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VISIT A HAUNTED ATTRACTION:

Start your search here:

In Minnesota:

GO TO A ZOMBIE PUB CRAWL:

Start your search here:

  • check local newspapers and city magazines
  • Google ‘zombie pub crawl in __________’ (where the blank is your town, nearest metropolitan area, or state.)

In Minnesota:

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GO ON SPECIAL HALLOWEEN TOURS OF HISTORICAL SITES:

Start your search here:

In Minnesota:

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GO TO A PARADE OR FESTIVAL:

Many years ago, I had a costume business with a friend.

We made the lion costumes you see at 0:45 – 0:48.

Start your search here:

In Minnesota:

SEE A HORROR OR CULT CLASSIC FILM OR A MIDNIGHT MATINEE:

Start your search here:

  • Check your local mega-plex for special showings of Halloween movies.
  • To find an independent theater for cult and horror classics, check PBS’s Independent Lens. (Zoom in on the map.)
  • Alternatively, Google ‘independent theater in __________’ (where the blank is your town, nearest metropolitan area, or state.)
  • Search for a screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show near you at rockyhorror.com

In Minnesota:

OR MAKE A HORROR MOVIE IN 48 HOURS

The 48 Hour Film Horror Project is a creative contest where teams of filmmakers create a horror film in a single weekend. Teams will be given certain elements to incorporate into their short film and 48 hours – the rest is up to them.

The project weekend will kickoff on a Friday evening and all films are due back Sunday evening. Filmmakers and their friends/family will be able to help to celebrate their accomplishments via a screening soon to follow.

All creative work for the video must be done in the official 48 hour time frame. Films must be 4 – 7 minutes long with an additional minute allowed for credits.

In select cities in October & November, 2014:

  • Oct. 3rd: Minneapolis
  • Oct. 10th: Detroit, Pittsburgh, Seattle
  • Oct. 17th: Albuquerque, Atlanta, Cleveland, Louisville, Providence
  • Nov. 7th: Kansas City
  • Nov. 21st: Amsterdam

You must register at the site. The fee to compete is $175.

Visit the 48 hour film: horror project homepage.

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RESERVE TIME & ENERGY FOR ERRANDS, TASKS, AND HOME-CENTRIC ACTIVITIES:

Don’t forget to leave room for activities that don’t have to be done on any particular date. Outings are great, but things like decorating the house, stealing an hour to browse the local Halloween shop, and snuggling down with a scary book or movie are important too.

NOTE: If you’re going to have a Halloween party, you should set the date now.

HALLOWEEN COUNTDOWN QUICK LINKS:

2014: Countdown-to-Halloween Ideas & Checklist

2014: The Paranormalist’s 1st Annual Halloween Photo Scavenger Hunt

FOR MORE HALLOWEEN COUNTDOWN ARTICLES VISIT THE MAIN INDEX

halloween countdown main fridays